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Michelle Moyer, the new viticultural extension specialist for Washington State, visits vineyards in Oppenheim, Germany.

Michelle Moyer, the new viticultural extension specialist for Washington State, visits vineyards in Oppenheim, Germany.

New viticultural specialist hired

Michelle Moyer had a family nursery and landscape business waiting for her in Wisconsin, but instead chose viticulture while working on her master’s degree and doctorate at Cornell University. Moyer will start her statewide duties as Washington State University’s viticultural extension ­specialist on February 1.

Moyer graduated last year from Cornell University with a doctorate in plant pathology. While there, she developed a powdery mildew risk-assessment model to help eastern U.S. grape growers optimize control strategies. As part of her modeling work, she spent two growing seasons in South Australia’s Riverland wine region to compare disease management strategies between the eastern United States and Riverland.

Moyer received her bachelor’s degree in genetics and plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin. Since 1986, her family has owned and operated a wholesale supply and retail nursery in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

She fills the extension specialist void that was created when Dr. Mercy Olmstead left in 2009 to be the statewide stonefruit extension specialist for the University of Florida.

Turner joins Oneonta

Bruce Turner has joined the marketing team at Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in Wenatchee, Washington. Turner was formerly director of operations at Giumarra VBM International Berry in Wenatchee. Scott Marboe, Oneonta’s director of marketing, said Turner has great experience in the shipping, marketing, and retail sides of the fruit industry. He previously worked with The Oppenheimer Group in Seattle, Washington, where he helped oversee the growth of New Zealand apple and kiwi imports into the United States. He also was senior director of business development and sales at Associated Grocers in Seattle for a number of years.